A new analysis of an astounding find has led to the belief that comet Lovejoy shows life can spread from sugar and alcohol, along with other organic chemicals left behind in its wake.
- Comet Lovejoy was discovered in 2014, by Terry Lovejoy
- Researchers found its trail to be littered with a varied number of 21 organic chemicals
- Two of those substances included ethyl alcohol and a type of sugar
- This has fueled the theories that life on planets began almost 4 billions years ago due to comets
C/2014 Q2, or more memorably dubbed ‘Comet Lovejoy’, was the 5th comet that was discovered in 2014 by astronomer Terry Lovejoy. Since then, the space rock has been closely analyzed by scientists at the Paris Observatory with a high powered telescope. And, according to their findings, there are quite a few interesting details to note.
On January 30th of this year, the dazzling comet ventured as close to the sun as possible, which made observation easier. By using the IRAM-30 meter wide telescope, Nicolas Biver and his team differentiated substances in the comet’s tail by measuring microwave frequencies. The molecules were energized by the Sun’s proximity.
That aided the astronomers to observe a “very complex chemistry” left behind by Lovejoy’s trail. In fact, they discovered an excellent number of 21 different organic chemicals in its wake. They included ethyl alcohol and glycolaldehyde, a type of sugar. According to the researchers, the quantities were also enormous.
Lovejoy dumps around 500 bottles of liquor per second into space as it swoops by. Additionally, NASA found that it also dumped 50 tons of water per second at its most active point. While alcohol and sugar may seem like the two ingredients of different types of parties on Earth, in space it has quite a different meaning, but far more impacting.
This excellent discovery essentially proves the theory that comets could have been the source of life as we know it. They are the oldest remnants in the solar system, with abilities of travelling and spreading those organic chemicals upon impact. They carry elements that can essentially jumpstart life on a planet. It’s an absolutely incredible find that adds more fuel to certain theories.
For example, many scientists believe that life on Earth and other planets started 3.8 billion years ago, in the wake of the “late heavy bombardment”. The event implied all planets receiving heavy amounts of rain from comets and asteroids hurdling through space. It delivered water, formed into our oceans, and effectively bred life.
The theory has been certainly gaining more ground. Perhaps these complex organic chemicals were able to bring water and nurture life on planets, including Mars, billions of years ago. Comets and asteroids could have been the very progenitors that surpassed their limitations, by venturing closer to the sun than experts would’ve believed possible.
A few dramatic impacts and shifts could have led to a rain of them coming down on our very own planet. And those moments might have resulted in what we have today.
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